Falafel and Hummus

A couple of months ago the Pike Place Market CSA had an end of harvest sale and I picked up 5 pounds of dried, organic chick peas. Tonight, I made falafel and hummus dip. I hope you’ll excuse the huge pat on my back (and my stomach), but this meal turned out excellent.

The falafel and hummus recipes are adapted from Rose Elliot’s Complete Vegetarian Cuisine. The tahini sauce is my own workings.

Both will serve 4-6 hungry adults.

Preparing the chickpeas

2 C dried chickpeas
water

  1. Soak the chickpeas overnight in water. Drain.
  2. Add the chickpeas to a large pot and cover with water. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer and cook covered for about 40 minutes, or until the chickpeas are tender.
  3. Drain, reserving 1C of the liquid for the hummus.

Note: you can use four 15-ounce cans of chickpeas. Drain them, and reserve 1 C of the liquid for the hummus.

Falafel

Half of the prepared chickpeas (see above)
2 eggs, beaten
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 T Italian parsley, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T fresh cilantro
1 t ground cumin
a pinch of chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 C flour (for coating)
canola oil (or equivalent) for frying
8 pita breads
1 large tomato, sliced
1/2 cucumber, sliced
Lemon wedges

  1. Prepare the chickpeas as above.
  2. Mash the chickpeas thoroughly. I found a pastry cutter was effective.
  3. Mix in eggs, onion, parsley, garlic, cilantro, cumin and chili powder. If you want to cheat a bit, you can run the onion, garlic and spices in a food processor for a few whirls. I won’t tell.
  4. If the mixture is excessively watery, stir in some of the flour.
  5. Shape the mixture into balls the size of a Sacajawea dollar. Coat in flour.
  6. Fry the falafel in batches for about 4-5 minutes on each side until golden brown. Drain on a plate covered with paper towels.
  7. To serve: cut each pita bread in half and warm. Fill with falafel, sliced tomato, cucumber and tahini sauce. Enjoy!

Tahini sauce — www.jimcarson.com

2/3 C tahini
juice from 2 lemons
2 cloves garlic, minced
water

  1. Add 4T of water and the lemon juice to the tahini and mix in until the mixture is thinned out enough to be a sauce.
  2. Mix in the garlic.
  3. Drizzle in the pita. Isn’t that easy?

Hummus

Half of the prepared chickpeas (see above)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 T tahini
3 T olive oil – go for high quality; I recommend Lucini extra virgin
juice from one lemon

Garnish:
olive oil
paprika
Kalamata olives
lemon wedges

  1. Put the chickpeas, garlic, tahini, olive oil and lemon juice in a food processor and mix until smooth. You’ll want to add some of the chickpea liquid (or water, if you didn’t pay attention) so the hummus is lightly whipped.
  2. Spoon onto a plate and level it with a knife so it’s about 1/2” deep and all pretty. Pour a little olive oil on the top, sprinkle with paprika for color. Garnish with lemon wedges and quartered Kalamata olives.

(p.s. Hi Debbie!)

4 thoughts on “Falafel and Hummus

  1. I learned to eat hummus in Brazil which has a large Lebanese population. It is prepared there with lime in lieu of lemon and topped with paprika and parsely. As a poor student, I replaced tahini with peanut butter (not bad but now I learn that peanuts are bad). Hummus doesn’t store well: it tends to separate and get crusty. It’s also apparently an acquired taste: when I recently tried it on my 4 year old, she started crying, wiping her tongue and screaming “THAT’S NASTY!” But it’s extremely nutritious, especially when served on a whole wheat pita (good complete protein).

  2. Hi. Just a general note: abything from chickpeas dries out very quickly thus if you want to store it overnight – spread a light layer of olive oil on top and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Will be as good as new the next day. I will try falafel sometime, was thinking about getting a meat grinder to grind chick peas for it but will give it a go. BTW, the best pitas are if baked on the stone. If you don’t have one – just buy one _uncoated_ heavy clay tile from the tile shop, used for outdoor works, should be about 1/2 nich thick and, after washing it, put it in the oven and use as a baking stone.

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